Below is the text of Mr Major’s written Parliamentary Answer on Housing Benefit on 4th June 1986.
Mr. Raynsford Asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will estimate (a) the number of awards of the supplementary benefit non-householder housing addition to those aged 21 to 24 years, (b) the number of households receiving housing benefit containing non-dependants between the ages of 21 and 24 years, in respect of whom deductions from housing benefit are made and (c) the net annual saving in benefit expenditure he expects to make as a result of the proposed changes to the rules governing non-householders and non-dependants aged between 21 and 24 years in July 1986.
Mr. Major [pursuant to his reply, 12 May 1986, c. 381.]: Precise information is not available. We estimate that there are 180,000 non-householders aged 21-24 in receipt of supplementary benefit who receive the non-householder addition. Information is not collected centrally on non-dependent deductions from housing benefit but we can make some estimates based on a computer simulation model of housing benefit entitlement. These suggest that some 180,000 households which receive housing benefit contain non-dependants between the ages of 21-24 in respect of whom deductions are made. Of these there are about 30,000 where the non-dependants receive supplementary benefit. The figures available would suggest a gross saving of about £8 million to £9 million in 1986-87 and £26 million in 1987-88. We estimate that the corresponding change to the arrangements for non-dependants might reduce the gross savings by around a tenth. The year 1987-88 is the only full year before the wider social security changes which are planned, and since the change applies to new claims it will not affect all claimants.